• Offered by School of Archaeology and Anthropology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Biological Anthropology

The emphasis of this primatology field school is to teach students how to conduct research with a focus on actual data collection in field conditions. Training in research methods includes the fundamentals of measuring behavioural and ecological variables, but also introduces students to the collection and preparation of samples for hormonal analysis, nutritional analysis and the use of GIS in primate research. Daily activities and exercises are designed to demonstrate the realities of data collection; to help students assess the pros and cons of various data collection techniques in practise and to think in terms of quantitative measurements of key research variables.  Students will also be trained in the other skills required to be a successful researcher such as teamwork, problem solving, and logistical arrangements. Students will also be challenged with assignments that require they read the literature and critically assess the use of different types of methods in various fields within primatology. With all of this training, students are in a position to develop an accurate and realistic research proposal that is well grounded in current methods and literature.   The program includes both pre-departure classroom training and independent work, and actual fieldwork at Veun Sai-Siem Pang Conservation Area on two endangered primate species (red-shanked doucs and northern yellow-cheeked gibbons) and their habitat characteristics.


I have received approval from the Animal Ethics committee for a three year period to run this project and conduct behavioural research on the animals. As part of this approval, I will be allowed to take students to the field and will just need to supply the ethics committee with the names of students prior to departure.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

By the end of this course you should be able to:

  1. Define and explain types of behavioural and ecological data collection techniques and identify situations in which they should be used
  2. Collect both behavioural and ecological data using the techniques taught in this course
  3. Use a data set to perform basic calculations and statistical analyses
  4. Turn a general area of interest into a relevant research question and determine what data will need to be collected to answer the question and the best methods to collect that data
  5. Combine information from a variety of academic sources to understand the history of the species and country of interest and to place a research question or project in the context of current knowledge
  6. Critically analyse current literature relevant to course material (methodology, primate conservation, primate ecology) and articulate ideas to the class

Integrate theory, personal experience and published literature to critically assess currently used methodologies

Indicative Assessment

For this 12 unit course, the assessments will be as follows:


Methods Exam (10%) – LO 1

Daily data collection and analyses (35%) – LO2, 3

2500 word comparative paper (15%) – LO 2,6

3500 word Literature review and research proposal (25%) – LO4,5

Post field tutorial presentations (10%)

1000 word Post-field work critical analysis paper – LO7 (5%)

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


Offered as an intensive 3 week fieldwork course in the Summer session. One weekend of pre-departure training at ANU will occur followed by 3 weeks at Veun Sai Siem Pang Conservation Area in Northeast Cambodia working with the assistance of Conservation International and the Forestry Administration of Cambodia. Following return to Canberra, tutorial session will be held throughout the first 6 weeks of semester

Requisite and Incompatibility

You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed BIAN3018

You will need to contact the School of Archaeology and Anthropology to request a permission code to enrol in this course.

Prescribed Texts

Martin, P and Bateson P (1993). Measuring Behaviour: An Intraductory Guide. Cambridge University Press.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
12 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

12.00 0.25000
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $7320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $9756
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Summer Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
1497 18 Dec 2017 05 Jan 2018 05 Jan 2018 18 Feb 2018 In Person N/A

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